It was Buddha Purnima (10th May, 2017) and my day started with deep breathing in fresh crisp air and few photo shots of surroundings.
After morning ablution, went straight to Monastery Canteen for breakfast with Lama Chulthim and his younger colleague. I was finding it difficult to understand as to how and why people leave their male kids to become monks at such a tender age? I think, this is one reason that Buddhism is still alive in this region, without much pollution or negativity.
Lama Chulthim took me on a guided tour of this huge monastery, which was set up in 1986 and expanded to its present structure in 2004.
Statue of Music Goddess Sarawati in a small garden of this monastery was a little surprise for me but was told that many gods and goddesses have become integral part of Tantrik Buddhism, followed in entire Himalayas.
Spent about 30 minutes inside the monastery, witnessing prayer session of monks. Senior monks try to enforce discipline by “not sparing the rod”. One of the teachers was seen giving light whacking on back of youngsters who were late for the next session!!!!!
Later, Chulthim took me to Mirik Lake, a gook picnic spot, which was getting lot of visitors due to Buddha Purnima. Apart from taking some pics, tried riding a horse, who wont budge without his owner.
Boarded a local cab, a “10 seater” Scorpio, to Siliguri and reached by noon, where a private cab was waiting for me. Went straight to Bangladesh Border but was disappointed to find high fencing and too much security unlike Dawki-Tamabil border from Meghalaya side. Just clicked few pics and went to BSF Officers mess to change into Haryana’s formal dress i.e. Kurta-Payjama!!!!!
Journey from Bangladesh Border to Kakarbhitta, Nepal was nearly one hour. Taxi was parked at the entry to Nepal and me and driver went around looking for a nice place to eat and found a good one “Hotel Gateway” where we had Nepali food – rice, chicken curry, dal, potatos, veggies, papad & chutney!
Mithun, taxi driver, was helpful, taking a detour and showed me an important landmark in Indian History – Naxalbari, which started an era of armed struggle against the state.
Last point of interest was Gurudwara Bagdogra, where I prayed for safe journey back home, finally reached home at Faridabad by 8.30pm!